In this article, we will explain how to respond to a restraining order or order of protection in Illinois, including how to file a response to an Illinois restraining order, what to do at the court hearing, and your right to appeal if the restraining order is entered against you.
The first and perhaps most important step in appealing a restraining order is your initial response to the order. If you receive an order while in court, avoid any emotional outbursts and remain respectful as possible. In many cases, the person filing or requesting an order of protection with the court will do so privately. You will then receive a notice either by mail or in-person. A form with instructions on how to respond will be included in the notice.
The deadline to properly respond once you have received the notice and is rather short. It is important to follow the instructions immediately and contact an attorney to ensure the proper handling of your case.
Often, the court will issue a temporary restraining order prior to or after the first court date in order to protect the petitioner until a final plenary order can be either issued or denied. It is important to avoid violating any of the terms of the temporary restraining order. This includes contacting or going near the petitioner or anyone else listed in the order. Failure to obey the order can have serious consequences, such as large fines and potential jail time.
In addition to instructions on how to respond, the notice will include the date of a court hearing. You must attend this hearing! If you do not show up, the judge will most likely enter a plenary order that lasts up to two years at a time. Once it becomes a plenary order, you do not have the ability to object or challenge the order of protection.
Gather all evidence that supports your argument on why a restraining order should not be filed against you before the initial court hearing. This includes any witnesses (who may have to testify), recordings or documents supporting your claim. Your attorney can help you prepare for what all you need.
The petitioner’s initial reasoning for filing an order of protection will be examined by the judge. You and your attorney then have the opportunity to present your argument with the support of gathered evidence. The judge will then determine whether the petition for a plenary restraining order will be granted or denied.
If the restraining order is still placed against you after the initial hearing, you may have the option to file an appeal and request another court date. Again, make sure you have all relevant evidence to support your claim and your compliance with the original order.
Appealing an order of protection is possible if you take the proper actions once you are served the order, and can provide sufficient evidence to support your claim that such an order should not be filed against you. To learn more about the process for appealing a restraining order or Order of Protection, check out our article: The Illinois Appeals Process Explained.